BeggingWaterford TD Brendan Kenneally says there’s no excuse for people to be begging in this or any other city and the Gardaí should be empowered to tackle the problem post-haste.

Speaking in the Dail on Wednesday during a debate on the new Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill, the Fianna Fáil backbencher said: “When I left Waterford yesterday to come to Dublin I drove past the GPO in Waterford where I saw a lady outside the front door with a begging cup in her hand. That in itself is intimidating to people who are going in and out of an establishment because the intent is to shame them into giving something to the person begging.

“I have no way of knowing whether the person needs such support. I have seen the lady in question in that location on more than one occasion which indicates that her activity is almost a job for her at this stage. It is important that we can deal with such situations,” he said.

The new Bill will make it possible to move people on from shop-fronts and also vending machines. Mr Kenneally wondered whether parking meters will be included, and hopes they are. “One only has to go out the Merrion Street exit of Leinster House to see people sitting under parking meters staring at people putting money into them to park their cars. That is intimidating in itself,” he reiterated.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.